Man skates for 19 hours in Maisonneuve Park to raise money for Alzheimer's Society

Steve McNeil is skating all night long in Maisonneuve Park as he kicks off his cross-Canada fundraising tour for the Alzheimer’s Society.

For Alzheimer's Awareness Month, Toronto man skates in honour of his mother

Steve McNeil said that 19 hours of skating represents the marathon days that are typical for a caregiver. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

Steve McNeil is skating all night long in Maisonneuve Park as he kicks off his cross-Canada fundraising tour for the Alzheimer's Society.

The park has given him special permission to start his 19 hour and 26 minute skate starting at midnight Friday.

His mother had dementia for 20 years and he took care of her for five before she went to a nursing home.

He said that more than 19 hours of skating represents the marathon days that are typical for a caregiver.

He started his annual skate in 2012 during Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which is January in Canada.

When he first decided to use his solo skating initiative to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society, he just walked into one of their offices in his native Toronto and told them.

"I walked in off the street and said, 'I want to raise money for you guys,'" McNeil, 57, said to CBC Montreal's Homerun.

"Everybody does their part in this world and I came up with a unique idea that kind of flies," he said.

Steve McNeil has raised thousands for the Alzheimer’s Society with his annual skating fundraiser. (Submitted by Steve McNeil)

He's been doing the fundraiser in Toronto for years and has raised $40,000 there.

He'll stop during his prolonged skating session only to snack, go to the bathroom and change his socks.

He keeps his spirits up by playing AC/DC on his headphones as he skates.

People who come visit him when Maisonneuve Park reopens to the public Saturday morning may catch him playing air guitar to his music, he said.

Since he's a hockey fan, this year, he decided to visit all the NHL cities in Canada, starting with Montreal.

With files from CBC Montreal's Homerun